3 May 2007

Indonesian human rights group says special autonomy in Papua not working

10:51 am on 3 May 2007

A series of demonstrations in Indonesia's Papua province in the past week have called for an end to Special Autonomy, saying it hasn't worked.

Thousands of Papuan students attended two peaceful demonstrations, outside the provincial parliament capital Jayapura last Thursday, and then Tuesday at Manokwari, the second administrative centre in Papua.

The group known as the Papuan Indigenous Business People has also been demonstrating at the Provincial Parliament in Jayapura.

A representative of the Indonesian human rights group ELSHAM, Paula Makabori, says the common message is that Special Autonomy has failed to improve the welfare of Papuans.

She says the international community has not been allowed in to see that Special Autonomy has not worked.

"Why journalists are still prohibited from Indonesia from going to West Papua, why the media cannot enter that area. So if the international governments and international community keeps its silence over the West Papuan cry for peace, then they will turn West Papua into being an awakening second East Timor or Aceh."